Master of the Month: Edward Gorey

Illustration // Friday, 02 Dec 2011
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Dark, demented, and humorous, Edward Gorey has become a staple for 20th century gothic art and illustration. Upon creating over one hundred books, and writing and directing numerous after-evening productions, Gorey has become a satirical and monumental cult classic in the history of illustration. Edward Gorey has not only enriched the illustration world since his time, but he has also inspired supcultures and entertainment through his style, subject and work. With bands, televison shows, and merchandise imitating his macabre outlook on art, he has become immortal in the art world.
Edward Gorey was born an American on February 22nd, 1925 to a journalist father. He claims his artistic talents to his great-grandmother, a 19th century greeting card writer. In order to hone his creative talent, Edward Gorey attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943, where he described his traditional art classes as "negligable."
By 1953, Gorey was ready to take on the city of New York where he was incredibly successful. He worked for the Art Department of Doubleday Anchor, where he illustrated covers for books including, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Elliot. Behind Gorey's illustrations are a very poingant style of Edwardian and Victorian settings, however he is most known for his alphabet book of children, and their deaths, called The Gashlycrumb Tinies.
With a peaked interest in tennis shoes, fur coats, cats, television and pop culture, his illustrative style was often paired with imagry of his favorite subjects. He was very inspired by different soap operas and programs like Batman, which had influenced his drawing style in some ways.
Gorey also had an affinity for plays and ballets, of which he enjoyed writing and directing. Later on in his life, he created many screenplays in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, where he used his very own hand-made paper mache hand puppets as actors in his ensemble known as Le Theatricule Stoique.
Edward Gorey is renowned for his use of dark wit and incredibley simple cross hatching work. He died on April 15th, 2000 with a macabre stamp on the generations to come.